The play began on Jan. 22. It wasn't as warmly embraced by the press as [sic] had been (primarily because Gibson supporter Bruce Weber has since been replaced at The New York Times by Gibson detractor Margo Jefferson). Still, the play found its champions and extended two weeks to Feb. 28.
Soho Rep artistic director and [sic] helmsman Daniel Aukin again directs. [sic] star Christina Kirk is in the cast, along with Thomas Jay Ryan, Jeremy Shamos and Colleen Werthmann. Loisa Thompson, another [sic] veteran, returns to design the set. Thompson, Aukin and Gibson all won Obie Awards for [sic], a quirky and poignant comedy about three young, urban artistic lives in limbo. Gibson also won the 2002 Kesselring Prize for Playwriting.
As in Gibson's earlier work, Suitcase features unfinished people and their unfinished projects. The central characters, Jen and Sallie, spend their lives holed up in their walkup apartments, weighed down by vague feelings of nostalgia, regret and disenchantment, spooked by encroaching conventionality, and obsessed over their unfinished dissertations and enigmatic relationships with their advisors. At the same time, they studiously avoid contact with their ardent but increasingly confounded boyfriends, communicating only (and sometimes simultaneously) through the telephone and intercom.
Thompson's set creates the abstract equivalent of the semi-artistic urban half-world in which the four characters exist. Jen and Sallie sit swathed in eccentric ensembles at their cluttered work stations, which are perched high about the stage, seemingly balanced on towers of storage boxes and piles of books. Separating the two "apartments" is a vestibule consisting of a smudged glass-and-metal entrance door, a pool of lobby light and the skeletal outlines of a stairwell.
Suitcase is a co-production with True Love Productions. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com. Tickets for performances Feb 17-28 are $35 each.